We can only imagine what awaits us at the end of our own Trek to the place where Christ is present.
“Only Christ can get rid of the veil. Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are – face to face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.” 2 Corinthians 3:14b-18
May you arrive at the manger – in your heart – and be so much more full of Light and energy and life this year, for having taken this Advent-ure with us.
And remember – from this day on, it’s you and God on a road revealed milepost by milepost – the adventure of a lifetime!
If you registered for the Trek and posted at least three times in response to the daily questions during Advent, stay tuned for the results of our nifty prize drawings! Recipients will be posted on the Trek to the Manger page by January 2, 2018.
You’ve heard the saying, “there’s safety in numbers,” right?
Maybe. But on this Trek to the Manger, I’ve become a firm believer that “there’s energy in numbers,” too.
Think about it! Together, God’s light in the lives of believers shines more brightly than a life lived – however passionately – alone.
I wonder, is God leading you toward others who share your passions? Energy? Vision? Who are they, and how are you going to respond?
Over the past week, I’ve also decided to adopt a new mantra in 2018: Follow the Energy! Where God’s good stuff is happening, the Spirit is stirring, and even if you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel the power surging as you move closer to the action.
I’m pretty sure that’s what happened at the manger, all those years ago.
So much life is lost in waiting for “someday” to arrive.
Some of us, hearts set on Heaven, miss the beauty to be found in our broken world today.
Others, so dialed-in to their goals and agendas, squander today’s opportunities while planning for a tomorrow that may never actually arrive.
Do you remember a time when the anticipation of a coming event or milestone kept you from truly engaging in your life being lived “today?”
Today, let’s agree to give away the temptation to look forward to the future at the expense of here-and-now!
Being stranded stretches us.
Even in the face of warm hospitality and a tasty bowl of chili, some of us will choose to pout because things just aren’t going our way.
“The Holy can be either a Hiding Place or a Boulder blocking your way.” Isaiah 8:14
Which one is it going to be for you, as the long-awaited Christmas holiday arrives?
Will you take refuge in the strength of the Baby in the manger, while you wait for life to make sense again? Or will you stand, hands-on-hips, and complain about the roads that have been closed along the way?
Maybe today is your day to whip up a batch of “chili” (real or proverbial – you decide), to make someone else’s wait less trying. At least they’d know they’re not alone.
Lately, I’ve taken quite a few rides on Lyft. It takes a little bit of getting used to, being a passenger in someone else’s car.
When I’m driving, I get to decide when to change lanes, when to change directions. Not so when someone named Andre or Pete is driving.
On this Trek to the Manger, we’ve talked a lot about making changes. The thing is, what God is really after is our willingness to go along for the ride.
Do you trust Him to get you where you need to go?
What’s it going to take for you to enthusiastically call out “Shotgun!”?
Can’t help but chuckle, reading chapter 24 afresh, now that my Stinky Friday kid is all grown-up. Maybe it was in rebound from those good ol’ sixth grade days, but there was a definite spike in water usage when high school rolled around.
I’ve got two questions for you to consider on this Stinky (Friday) Tuesday…
Deodorant is a cover-up for body odor. Anti-perspirant works to keep smelly conditions at bay. Which have you been relying on to keep your world stink-free, and how’s that working for you?
Just in case you hadn’t realized it, stink is a by-product of living. Close your eyes and engage your spiritual nostrils… What smells a bit ripe in your domain today?
Today, I thank God for the waters of baptism and the chance He gives each of us to start again, fresh and clean and stinky-sin-free!
Repentance is a turn away from sin and self, and a turn toward the light and love of God.
Which direction – turning away from or turning toward – motivates you to make necessary changes in your life today?
How can we help?
It’s so hard to know what people need to hear.
On the one hand, there are things I like to say! I have my favorite stories to tell and advice to give, and when I’m learning something that affects me deeply, I’m apt to want to share it with others.
But what if those things aren’t what my fellow sojourners need to hear? What if they just need me to listen? What if they just want company – a peaceful presence on the road – with no words at all?
I’m wordy and I know it. Today, I want duct tape over my mouth, to remind me to be “quick to listen, slow to speak” (James 1:19), because my high-beam energy just might be scaring away those who are in desperate need of God’s presence, not my interpretation of it.
Consider those whose lives currently intersect with your own. Who is keeping step with you? Who is lagging behind? Who is watching from the sidewalk, as if on the parade route? And what is your responsibility toward them as a bearer of light in God’s Kingdom?
Who is your gift-giving really about?
For those of us on a Trek to the Manger, questions like this one are helping to guide our decision-making in a season of auto-pilot moves.
Tradition is great, but mindless tradition needs to be questioned. Why we do what we do, in terms of gift-giving or anything else, really does matter!
Do you have a philosophy of gifting during the Christmas season (or even year-round)?
If you could box up your life’s best gift for our Savior, what would it be?
I never realized, in previous moves, just what a big deal it is to have a trade route.
A trade route!
You know – a consistent path along which your favorite and necessary stops are arranged. Groceries. Dry cleaner. Redbox. Starbucks. The bank.
These days, I’m re-configuring my trade route, and I’m on the hunt for a new hair salon, smoothie place, consignment store, and Amazon locker.
As I explore my new neighborhood, I’m unusually aware of just how brutal customer service can be, especially during the holidays when stress levels are elevated and schedules are tight. How might you give some appreciation away as you encounter clerks, waitresses and receptionists this week?
Go! Spread some love around on your trade route today!